Made It!

I don’t want to speak too soon, one hour and fifty four minutes to go, but I think we’ve survived 2021. I’m taking that as a win.

I tried and tried with my pushbike thing, but in the end, inevitably, I’ve ended up getting a new bike. Three sets of mudguards, new tyres, on two different bikes, and still can’t get a winter bike out of them. In the end I researched Decathlon (store) for a new bike. Decathlon is always a good benchmark as they make their own kit and manage to fit a really good standard of parts for the money. They regularly win “Best Bike Under X amount”, reviews in bike magazines. They have exactly what I want. Takes up to 33mm (quite wide) tyres, with enough frame clearance and mounting points for the (fitted) mudguards. Perfect. But it’s £849. For a pushbike that is just for riding my 5 miles a day round trip to work and keeping me from being sprayed and soaked in winter. Once I knew what I was after I went looking for second hand. Sadly the bike has only been in production for a few years so there aren’t many and they’ve kept their price.

Then, through a random google search, I found someone trying to sell one “ridden 5 miles”, for £510. He’d been trying to sell it since May. On a site for people selling record players and amps. Target audience, mate. I joined the stupid site to make an offer but he didn’t get back to me. Then I saw he’d just posted it on Preloved (another not obvious site) for £495 or offers. I offered £450 ( I would have paid the £495, or a haggle in the middle) and he said yes! Bargain! It’s the same frame and such as the kitted out winter bike, but without the mudguards and fat tyres. I’ve already bought them, trying to fit to my other bikes, so job’s a good ‘un! I’m picking it up on Sunday.

I’ve just looked back over 2021. Started with a broken shoulder, and no running. Bike training with my arm strapped to my chest. Putting up that beast of a shed on my own. Bought a big, tourer motorbike, not the Triumph Daytona I really wanted. Realised I don’t need a big tourer motorbike, sold it, bought the Triumph Daytona I really wanted. Got the kit I needed to ride like a racer. Found out I was still an untrained, clueless, fool, but one with a nice bike and kit. Bought us recorders. And a Sax. And a clarinet. Playing none of them. Read that a shopping addiction was a symptom of my Borderline Personality Disorder. Got a grip. Bought a boat. Had a nightmare getting it to the lake. Nearly drowned. Still can’t sail. Fixated on buying a car for the boat, prevaricated until the obsession passed. Ran the Loch Ness Marathon, blew up and failed 20 miles in to the Manchester marathon, the week after. I went to the physio about my lame hoof, and, after years of suffering, he said it’s a trapped/ damaged nerve, not my foot. I’m back to running again. And I may have got a proper bargain pushbike.

Wendy went loony, faced it, and dragged herself back to sanity. Incredible bravery. And got rammed and ended up with a new side for her Mini.

My new year’s resolution is to get a sub 3 hour marathon. If my foot holds up I reckon I can do it. It means dedication and consistency. The last week every time my alarm has gone off, well before I have to get up for a long shift (10 and 11 hours), I’ve had to win the mental fight to get out of bed before I even start running. It’s going to be very, very tough. But if it was easy it wouldn’t be a challenge. I’ve signed up for a flat, fast marathon in Newport, Wales, for the end of October. That is in 42 weeks. I’ll start the training plan from the Advanced Marathoning book from next week. If I’m not up to speed by then I’ll look for others, and if necessary, just run a flat solo run at the end of December. It’s not official, but it will do. Once I’ve got the pace I can do it an official race and qualify for a bucketlist marathon or two, Berlin springs to mind.

Talk is cheap, but I’m determined to give it my best shot.

Watch this space.